Saturday, February 27, 2016

Triple 9

Movie Name: Triple 9
Year of Release: 2016
Director: John Hillcoat
Stars: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Casey Affleck, Anthony Mackie, Woody Harrelson, Aaron Paul, Kate Winslet, Norman Reedus, Gal Gadot, Clifton Collins Jr., Michael Kenneth Williams, Michelle Ang, Terence Rosemore, Terri Abney
Genre: Crime, Thriller
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 5

Synopsis & Review:
Director John Hillcoat is back, after the successful "Lawless" and the bleak "The Road". "Triple 9" is a film that focuses on a series of characters that find themselves connected through crime in the city of Atlanta. The film starts by immediately introducing us to a crew of dirty cops who are in the process of robbing a bank. That heist isn't as successful as expected, but it turns out that they're expected to do another stint. The head of this group is being blackmailed by the Russian mob and this next coup is virtually impossible to accomplish. The only way to pull it off is to manufacture a 999, police code for "officer down". The focus their attention on a new police officer who has joined their group recently, but things take a decidedly unexpected turn.
John Hillcoat has had a long career as a director of commercials and music videos. The feature that placed him on the map was the Nick Cave written western, "The Proposition". "Triple 9" presents itself as a grittier and messier version of Michael Mann's "Heat", but sadly has none of the character development or engagement that the latter film created. The characters of "Triple 9" are thinly developed, and even fantastic actors such as Kate Winslet and Woody Harrelson, can't bring much edge or difference to this endeavor. The film builds momentum and there's definitely a seedy underbelly of crime that the director sheds a light on, but it's simply not compelling enough to be distinct (or better) of what TV shows such as "The Wire" have accomplished. Chiwetel Ejiofor, Casey Affleck, and the remainder of the very talented cast make an effort to elevate the material, but the film feels implausible and ultimately disappointing. A missed opportunity.